Author Topic: Painting Homework for N00bs  (Read 10714 times)

ced1106

  • Merchant
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Serendipity: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Painting Homework for N00bs
« on: April 26, 2013, 01:23:59 AM »
You don't need your MYTH miniatures to learn how to paint, and you'll screw up fewer of them if you don't have 'em.

Here's a To Do list for anyone new to painting:

1. Read Reaper's The Craft for Beginners and other n00b painting tips.
The Craft: http://www.reapermini.com/Thecraft/32

2. Reaper will be revising their Learn to Paint Kits for their Bones line. The current line is perfectly suitable for learning miniatures painting (although you'll get duplicate paints if you have more than one kit). I recommend LTPK1: Beginning Fur and Armor for the ratmen, LTPK2: Beginning Skin and Cloth for most of the humanoid miniatures, and LTPK5: Intermediate Armor for elementals and armor. I recommend paint kits because not only do you learn how to paint, but the kits give a good selection of paints and are usually a good value. The kits also come with hobby brushes, although most miniature painters will recommend a higher quality (and more expensive) sable brush, such as a Winsor and Newton Series 7.

3. Hobby purchases: For brushes, get a Winsor and Newton Series 7 Size 1 Round and a set of cheap brushes. For brown wash, pick up an eye dropper of Army Painter's Strong Ink Tone. For metallic paint, get Vallejo Air Model. For adding grass to bases, look for static grass. You can get these and the Reaper Learn to Paint Kits from FRPGames. You can also get miniatures bases in bulk there, although MYTH miniatures do not require additional bases.

4. Craft store purchases: Michael's, Hobby Lobby, and other craft stores sell many supplies used in miniatures cheap, especially with their coupons. As you paint, you'll know what techniques don't require hobby paint (eg. paiting bases black), and cheap black, white, and brown craft paints will come in handy. Liquitex Matte Medium, Liquitex Flo-Improver, Liquitex Clear Gesso, and Sno-Tex (for textured bases) will also be useful, although not immediately. I use a black acrylic paint pen to paint the edges of my bases black.

5. Hardware store purchases: Start with spray primer made for plastics. New painters should start with white primer, since it's easiest to work with. One interesting comment I read advocating non-hobby primer is that stores turnover primer much faster than hobby shops, so the primer you purchase is "newer".

6. Learn to base miniatures and prime them. You can pick up a pack of bases from your FLGS, or just experiment with plastic or even cardboard. With plastic bases so readily available, there's no good reason to learn basing on your precious miniatures! That being said, for your minions, if all you do is paint the base brown, paint glue on the base, and dip the base in playground sand (more variety of textures), you will have good results. (If the sand falls off during play, just glue on more sand.) Some basing techniques suggest priming the base after gluing sand, so you can practice your priming at the same time as you experiment with basing. If you own Descent (and similar dungeon boardgames), make bases to use as terrain markers (eg. rocks, water, mud) instead of those flat cardboard counters!

7. Research storage solutions. IMO, Foam is overkill for plastic miniatures, since they're actually less fragile than metal figures. Compartmentalized storage boxes (eg. plano boxes, Really Useful Boxes, cardboard boxes such as boardgame boxes) and sticky-tack work fine, unless you intend to routinely transport your miniatures, store the boxes sideways, or otherwise manhandle them. Just use the sticky tack to secure the MYTH miniatures to the bottom of the box. I like to start with two same-sized cardboard boxes, make one into a tray, and sleeve it with the other box.

8. You can, of course, practice on similar miniatures, and, if they're 28mm, you should be able to use them in your MYTH games. Skeletons are easiest to paint and you should be able to find low-cost skeleton miniatures easily. Orcs are a little more difficult but also easy to find at a good price. Fantasy miniatures similar to Heroes can be found at any FLGS or OLGS. Incomplete HeroQuest and Battle Masters sets on eBay make good painting fodder, since their sculpts are less detailed yet still expressive. You may get lucky and find some well-crafted but poorly painted toys at Walmart or craft stores. I saw a picture of a spray-primed plastic dinosaur toy and it had very good detail!

9. Finally, Hand Cannon Online, one of the best miniature painting sites, will have MYTH figure tutorials. When you've familiarized yourself with zenithal priming (fancy word for spray black then white to make shadows on the miniature) and glazing (less fancy word for thin layers of paint), look up HCO's speed painting tutorial. You'll need it for the minions!

EDIT: Mice and Mystics has a painting tutorial which will come in handy for the arachnids, ratmen, and rat hero!
http://www.plaidhatgames.com/images/games/mice-and-mystics/mmpaintingguide.pdf
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 09:32:10 PM by ced1106 »

Johnnys65

  • Myth Fan
  • Posts: 12
  • Serendipity: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Youngevity
  • Hero: Browncoat
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2013, 04:21:42 AM »
Thank you so much for this! I just did a head count of everything I ordered and I just realized that I have over 150 figures to paint! I'm in trouble...
Natasha Romanoff: This is just like Budapest all over again.
Clint Barton: You and I remember Budapest very differently.
TELL me you can't hear Zoe and Mal saying this!!

Patrick, The Researcher

  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 120
  • Serendipity: +8/-1
  • I am Lord Twinkington
    • View Profile
  • Hero: Trickster
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2013, 10:58:49 AM »
Thanks ced this is really helpful I just ordered LTPK1
I respect but do not fear the murphy bat.

Consultrajan

  • Myth Fan
  • Posts: 4
  • Serendipity: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 02:15:53 PM »
Thanks for the list Ced! Are you on the reaper forums too?

His post is pretty much distilled gold- I don't think there's anything I would refute directly.

Does anyone know how the minis will take paint?  One post I saw was that they'll be similar to Privateer Press plastics- so I'm not sure what primer works best.  I've worked with metal and Reaper's Bones line.

I would suggest grabbing a few Bones as practice- they're cheap, and they're easy to work with (they don't need to be primed).

I would add to Ced's copious list with the following three cents:

1) Tools: you may need a hobby knife (exacto is the common brand) for cutting/trimming/cleaning up minis.  A set of needle files (not sure yet whether plastic or metal files will work best with the Myth materials) would come in handy for smoothing out lines.

2) Brushes and brush care:  Any brush can paint, but better brushes hold better points (and are thus better for detail work).  Ced mentioned Winson & Newton series 7- they're a well known company that produces quality watercolor brushes.  Kolinsky sable (which is some sort of Russian weasel) are considered to be the best material (reaper brushes and other companies also use the Kolinsky sable; mileage between brands varies).  A good W&N 7 will cost $10+ but is well worth it (you'll actually spend more money on cheap brushes in the long run).  The better brushes will last if you take care of them.  Washing them out carefully, getting all of the paint out of the ferrule, and using a brush soap (available at art stores, hobby stores like Michaels, and online) will all make them last longer.
Kolinsky Sable (Winson & Newton) > other red sable brushes > synthetics > cheapo brushes.  I started buying tiny brushes (00, 0/3) etc thinking they'd be better for painting- you're better off with a bigger brush that can hold a point (1 seems to be a sweet spot, maybe even a 2 for larger minis).

3) Paint: acrylics are the paint of choice, and just like brushes there's a continuum.  Cheap $1-3 paints from Walmart (apple barrel, etc) are known as 'craft paint' and are thicker and have less pigment when thinned- so they're not ideal for miniatures.   You CAN use them, but you'll see how much easier miniature paints are when you try them.  Reaper, Privateer Press, Games Workshop, and several others sell more expensive and smaller bottles designed for minis.   I like P3 and reaper, although I'm starting to favor reaper more (dropper bottles rock!).  All of them you'll thin with water.  The reaper learn to paint kits offer 2 minis, and a bunch of full bottles that span a spectrum of colors (and one -two sable brushes) for a great price.  Start small, get basic colors and add up from there.

4) Practice!

ced1106

  • Merchant
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Serendipity: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 07:46:27 PM »
Thanks for the thanks!  ;D

I *used* to post on the Reaper forums, but after some remarks from one of the regular posters, I no longer read and post there. However, I still recommend the forums for information and advice. Note that the Reaper forums are oriented more towards display-level miniature painting. You just can't paint 100+ minions at a display level if you still want time to play the game! But even beginning painters using speed paint techniques will have much better results than prepainted miniatures. And, after 100+ minions, you'll learn a lot about painting.

I'm currently tweaking a "Least work (and mistakes) for best results" method and will post when I finish up some HeroQuest orcs! (Should take a month or so... :P

ced_spectre1

  • Merchant
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Serendipity: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2013, 01:50:54 AM »
If you are looking for minis for painting fodder don't overlook the dollar store bags of army men. They are good to practise techniques and such on, and are very easy on the wallet haha They will also give you plenty of practise trimming off excess as well  :D

Johnnys65

  • Myth Fan
  • Posts: 12
  • Serendipity: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Youngevity
  • Hero: Browncoat
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2013, 03:41:05 AM »
If you are looking for minis for painting fodder don't overlook the dollar store bags of army men. They are good to practise techniques and such on, and are very easy on the wallet haha They will also give you plenty of practise trimming off excess as well  :D

That's an excellent idea! I never would have thought of that. Thank you! I was wondering about where I could get some practice supplies.

"Hey, these guys are professionals. They're the best. Come on, they're not lying down on the job." - Woody
Natasha Romanoff: This is just like Budapest all over again.
Clint Barton: You and I remember Budapest very differently.
TELL me you can't hear Zoe and Mal saying this!!

ced_spectre1

  • Merchant
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Serendipity: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 11:05:12 AM »
Army men and some craft paints from walmart (or michaels, etc) (and brushes) are a super easy way to get started and very easy on the wallet. If you set yourself up with the primary colors you can mix colors to get what you want, plus you get a lot for the price. You may have to thin it out a bit with water if its a thicker paint, but that is minor.

The premium hobby paints will offer more of a color range and they have nice metallics, but I know a lot of guys that paint with just apple barrel brand and get amazing results. I have been told that the Martha Stewart line of paints at walmart are pretty good to believe it or not lol.


Artisan

  • Acoylyte
  • ****
  • Posts: 336
  • Serendipity: +19/-5
    • View Profile
  • Hero: Les Stroud
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2013, 09:07:41 PM »
As I'm completely new to painting minis, I've foolishly decided to utilize YouTube for all its tortuous worth.  I've watched dozens of tutorials by BuyPainted.Com and Brush4Hire.Com on their respective YouTube channels, and for a newb like me, it's overwhelming.  That being said, I have to say that I think I've picked up a few basics from watching scores of professional techniques, so maybe it hasn't been a total waste of time.  Are there other newbish tutorials that you advanced painters could recommend? 
Don't listen to anything I say.  I'm still a n00b.

FeelNFine

  • Captain
  • ***
  • Posts: 100
  • Serendipity: +7/-0
  • Just Imagine
    • View Profile
  • Hero: Apprentice
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 12:06:41 AM »
It's not a video, but the Mice and Mystics painting guide c linked to connected a lot of the gaps for me. I'm also trying to find tutorials between 'this is what a knife looks like, it is used for cutting' and 'here's how to make your mini literally come alive'
I can't wait for this signature to be filled with links to gameplay variants.

ced1106

  • Merchant
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Serendipity: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 04:18:06 PM »
As I'm completely new to painting minis, I've foolishly decided to utilize YouTube for all its tortuous worth.  I've watched dozens of tutorials by BuyPainted.Com and Brush4Hire.Com on their respective YouTube channels, and for a newb like me, it's overwhelming.  That being said, I have to say that I think I've picked up a few basics from watching scores of professional techniques, so maybe it hasn't been a total waste of time.  Are there other newbish tutorials that you advanced painters could recommend?

I was overwhelmed too, and I still think the Reaper Learn to Paint Kits are a great way to start. You don't have to search for paints, because the kit comes with them. You don't have to look for a  miniature similar to the one used in the tutorial, because the kit comes with them. It's hard enough to paint fantasy miniatures, you don't need the additional work and stress of "adapting" what you're learning on a video to whatever paints and miniatures you can find.

Once you have a good foundation on how to paint fantasy miniatures, *then* all this additional information will more easily fall into place. For example, to easily paint batches of evil minions, I use a painting technique (spray prime in white, wash, glaze colors, wash again) that's completely different from the LTPKs. *But* I couldn't have done this without learning the painting techniques in the LTPKs.

The revised Bones Reaper Learn to Paint Kits haven't been released yet. But, before then, you can buy some army men or skeletons and learn to spray prime them. Spraying primer consistently without leaving spots or not spraying the miniature completely is not a trivial step. Also, priming is the only time one screw up can affect more than one miniature! Priming correctly is even more important when you try zenithal priming, which involves up to three layers of primer (black, grey, white)!

Artisan

  • Acoylyte
  • ****
  • Posts: 336
  • Serendipity: +19/-5
    • View Profile
  • Hero: Les Stroud
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 05:03:36 PM »
Zenithal priming.  Yeah.  I'm going to skip that for a few years.  I'm a lighting designer by trade, so trying to get in priming highlights will drive me insane, especially if I'm going to be painting over the whole thing!
Don't listen to anything I say.  I'm still a n00b.

ced_spectre1

  • Merchant
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Serendipity: +3/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 01:17:24 AM »
I would highly recommend the videos on YouTube from "GirlPainting". She has a ton of videos and does a great job on breaking down the process. http://www.youtube.com/user/GirlPainting

Nikodemus

  • Myth Fan
  • Posts: 22
  • Serendipity: +1/-0
  • Captain Backed
    • View Profile
  • Hero: Apprentice
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2013, 02:31:18 PM »
I have been in and out of the mini world for a number of years now, with painting being really on the back burner.

Myth pulled me back into the hobby and I am currently doing a lot of reading to reestablish my knowledge of painting ready for the arrival.

There are a number of sites/links that I have previously read, but equally there are as many new ones which are valuable to read.  Thanks to all who post links. 

ced1106

  • Merchant
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Serendipity: +5/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Painting Homework for N00bs
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 03:49:02 PM »
Zenithal priming.  Yeah.  I'm going to skip that for a few years.  I'm a lighting designer by trade, so trying to get in priming highlights will drive me insane, especially if I'm going to be painting over the whole thing!

I'm just starting it, with good results. If you can spray primer a mini, you're 95% of the way to zenithal priming. While you may not get the ideal shading, you certainly won't screw up. At the worst, you'll have *some* sort of shading effect, since you will more lightly spray the grey and white than the black. And if you accidentally didn't completely prime the mini black, the other two coats will help coat the model!

You want to paint with *thin* coats, anyway, so the primer will help highlight and shade the model. I'm still trying out zenithal priming, but it's an easy technique *once* you get spray priming under control!

http://privateerpressforums.com/showthread.php?74870-Tutorial-Speed-Demon-Speed-Painting-Your-Troops


EDIT: I also tried a white spray primer followed by a black wash. Doesn't have the zenithal "angled" highlights, but works fine for n00bs and lazy painters!
« Last Edit: June 06, 2013, 11:24:09 PM by ced1106 »